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Jaw-Dropping Runs Off Hong Kong’s Beaten Track

Beyond the high-rise buildings and bustle of central Hong Kong, runners are rewarded with magnificent country parks, green hills, white sand beaches and most of all space to breathe.  Some of the best routes offer far-reaching views from mountaintops or harbour fronts.  The rewards from these spectacular running routes more than compensate for the time to reach the New Territories or the Islands.  Enjoy running off the beaten track in Hong Kong!

New Territories Running Routes

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NUMBER 5... Tseung Kwan O Waterfront

Tseung Kwan O was mainly built on reclaimed land, making it one of the few flat places to run in Hong Kong.

The waterfront looks out onto Junk Harbour and across to Hong Kong Island.

There’s a large network of well-maintained biking and walking trails throughout the district.  Highlighted here is a 3km stretch along the waterfront.  You can find maps showing the full cycle routes on the Hong Kong Transport Departments’ website.

The walking path can get busy, especially on Sunday.  Other times you may find you have the paths to yourself.

Getting here couldn’t be easier.  Take the Tseung Kwan O MTR line and alight at the Tseung Kwan O stop.

For post-run drinks and food, more and more terrific options are popping up!  A new outlet of Urban Coffee Roaster recently opened along the waterfront.  Or you can make your way back to the popcorn mall with options ranging from coffee from the ubiquitous Starbucks to ice cream from Venchi.

NUMBER 4... Sha Tin to Tai Po via the Science Park

More than 13km of flat running trail from Sha Tin along the bank of the Shing Mun river, past the Sha Tin racetrack to the Tolo Harbourfront, the science park and the Tai Po Waterfront Park.

The route is beautifully maintained and used by serious athletes, families with toddlers and everyone in between.

There are lots of benches and rest areas along the pedestrian paths  as well as restaurants and cafes in the science park, about half way along the route.

To get here, you can travel by MTR to Sha Tin.  Or if you’re looking to skip the river section of the route and start running along the harbor, directions to the Science Park can be found on their website.

There are lots of places to stop and refuel enroute, though as always, we’d recommend bringing drinking water with you.


NUMBER 3... Sai Kung Country Park Maclehose Trail & Sai Wan

The MacLehose Trail is 100 km of beautiful (and challenging!) hiking trail through the New Territories. Stage 1 lends itself to running, as it is relatively flat, snaking around the High Island reservoir.  Starting at the entry to the Sai Kung East Country Park, Stage 1 follows a 10k road (mostly) closed to traffic. 

Runners can enjoy the scenery with an out and back route, or start climbing the trail at the start of stage 2.  Here the trail does become steep, but hikers are rewarded with stunning views of powdery beaches and rolling mountains.

If opting for loop, there are a few options including leaving the MacLehose Trail partway through the 13k Stage 2 and heading for the Sai Wan pavilion or taking a water taxi back to Sai Kung from Sai Wan beach. 

There are a few ways to get to the entry of the Sai Kung Country Park and the start of this run: car, taxi or bus.  For more information please visit the Country Park website.

Getting home depends of course if you’ve opted for the out and back route, or to make a loop.  There are a few guides to help you plan your trip online, including this one.

Don’t forget to bring lots of water and possibly a bit of food with you.  There are places to buy supplies at the entrance to the country park and at Sai Wan beach, but it’s a long, and often hot, run between the two.

NUMBER 2... Lantau Island Mui Wo to Ngong Ping (Big Buddha)

This remarkable route crosses both Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak with a total climb of 1,350 meters! Most probably there will be sections of this very challenging route that will require hiking rather than running.

The views along this route are sensational and varied: looking north towards Hong Kong, south across the sea and finishing as the Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin monestary come into sight.

Beautiful rolling green hills only 40 minutes by ferry from Central Hong Kong!

To get to the starting point at Mui Wo on Lantau Island, take a ferry from Central Pier. In Mui Wo there are lots of shops and restaurants to stock up on refreshments for the run. We’d definitely recommend bringing some snacks and, more importantly, lots of water!

This run/hike will most likely take at least 4 hours, although depending on how often you stop for water and to admire the view, it could easily take upwards of 6 hours.

From Ngong Ping take the cable car down to Tung Chung, which is on the MTR.

NUMBER 1... Lion Rock

Looked at from below, the sheer rockface of this mountain looks like a lion perched, guarding over Hong Kong.

This run/hike culminates with truly jaw-dropping views of Hong Kong.  Climb the rock cliffs set dizzyingly high above Kowloon, for 360-degree views of Hong Kong.

With 450 meters of climbing, this 7 km route is a challenging run.  Once you’ve made your way up past Temple Hill Fat Jong Temple, along Sha Tin pass road to the entrance to Lion Rock Country Park, you join the MacLehose Trail, Section 5.

Continue along the well marked-trails and follow the signs for Lion Rock.


The starting point for the 7 km loop is the Wong Tai Sin MTR station.  Or if you’d prefer to skip the roadside climb, take a taxi and ask to be dropped at the entrance to the Lion Rock Country Park.

For this route, bring along all the water and food you might want as you’ll be inside a country park without any shops or restaurants.

Coming down from the lookout, follow the signs to the Reunification Pavilion – a popular spot for monkeys trying their luck with hikers and their snacks.